Biodegradable PVC: the green turning point

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Card in Biodegradable PVC and R&D on Green Materials

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Partitalia srl , an Italian company in the ICT sector since 2001, produces and markets smart cards, tags and RFID readers throughout Europe. From January 2020 it expands the commercial offer with RFID cards and smart cards in biodegradable PVC thanks to a new R&D team, which works constantly in search of innovative materials and, through technical laboratory tests and ecosystem compatibility, develops products that comply with the rules circular economy and close to market needs.

The market trend

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If on the one hand the cards are a highly requested product, so much so that there is a massive spread of credit cards, badges for access control, gift cards and loyalty cards used in Retail and GDO, on the other hand more and more companies require cards in biodegradable PVC, to aim at the eco-sustainability of their products and to comply with European guidelines, with advantages also in terms of marketing.

Biodegradable PVC: the green  turning point

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The standard PVC , a thermoplastic polymer composed of 57% from sea salt and 43% crude oil, has always been the most widely used material for the production of the card. A resistant and flexible raw material, which at the time of disposal causes important consequences for the environment , as specified in the Green Book “Environmental problems of PVC”, presented in Brussels by the European Commission in June 2000: “When waste from incineration is incinerated PVC generate hydrochloric acid (HCl) in the exhaust gas which must be neutralized “. That is, by incineration, the polymer releases dioxins and other organochlorides into the atmosphere. So the green turning pointPartitalia was born from the need to place a less polluting and healthier material on the market.

Luca Del Col Balletto, CEO of the Lainatese company, explains how the initiative started: « With the new millennium the European PVC industry has joined the ten-year Vinyl 2010 program and in 2011 VinylPlus started , the new development plan sustainable PVC, which affects Europe and brings together about 200 partner companies representing the supply chain. This stimulated us to undertake a Research & Development project on the materials used to print the cards in our factory ».

Focus on the new PVC and next steps

The chemical composition of biodegradable PVC is characterized by the addition of additives that accelerate its degradation in environments rich in microbes. These are additives particularly ‘palatable’ by the microorganisms normally present in the trash, which metabolize the substances of which PVC is composed, transforming the polymer into simple molecules (water, carbon dioxide, methane), biomass and inorganic compounds. For this reason, biodegradable PVC cards decompose faster than traditional materials, already in the organic fraction. Instead, as far as technology is concerned , technical performance does not change.

The path started will be carried on in the next two years: innovative service developments are also planned which, in addition to studying environmentally friendly products, will propose customized solutions aimed at simplifying the processes of industry 4.0.